Joining The Switch Effect on today’s Industry Interview is Ryan Burger, Founder and Publisher of the newly launched Old School Gamer Magazine. Old School Gamer Magazine is a digital and print magazine that focuses on all games retro, whether it is the original Atari from the 70s or consoles made today to play those classic games. With a magazine packed full of interviews, reviews, biographies, news, and more, it has never been a better time to be a retro gamer than today! Plus, you can go to www.oldschoolgamermagazine.com, sign up, and get the first issue for FREE! So without further ado, let’s get to know Ryan.
Ryan, thank you for speaking with The Switch Effect. What was your first console/game you owned?
A Sears Intellivision that I vividly still remember buying at a Sears in Cincinnati, Ohio. Great console, but I was always jealous of friends with an Atari because they had so many more games available that were like the arcades.
Issue #1 is now available…for free!
Growing up, what inspired you to pursue a career in the gaming industry?
Honestly a career in the gaming industry was furthest from my mind as to career things until about 5 years ago. For the last 25 years I’ve been publishing in the DJ industry, mobile DJs, like the guys who entertain at weddings, school dances and parties. I’ve always been a gamer since back in the late 70s, starting with that Intellivision, then moving on to computers with my TI 994A and then into PC’s. It wasn’t until about 15 years ago that I picked back up into gaming heavily with buying arcade machines where I have about a dozen or so of them mostly in my house and console gaming. For the last couple years I’ve been looking into doing something with this hobby and earlier this summer I started work on what would become Old School Gamer!
Arcade machines? Tell us more! What is the number #1 favorite arcade machine you own?
Atari Star Wars Vector game – found a good operating one about 10 hours away, had a friend test it, and then sent the money and went and got it a couple months later
Which arcade machine do you want to own the most, but you currently do not?
I have a Sega Star Trek cockpit, that I have all the pieces I need for it (minus the main board and the spinner), so it’s more of a job where I have to have the time to work on it and make some sort of emulation work faithfully.
Let’s talk about the Old School Gamer Magazine. The first issue recently launched and with articles about Walter Day, The National Video Game Museum, and especially Ed Averett, it truly felt like a blast to the past. Plus, my dad’s favorite system is still the Odyssey 2 and as he nears a complete U.S. collection, I know he was thrilled to read all about the man who created over half the titles. What led to you creating a retro magazine in the 21st century?
That first issue is amazing and we are in the process of working on the 2nd issue now. We did our homework and found the right people that I wanted on my magazine team. Just like when we were all in grade school on the playground we would pick teams and gather who we wanted to play with. Because there are no strong retro gaming magazines at this time, I really had the pick of the crowd. We brought on some awesome people both writing and advising us. Our advisory board with Walter Day, Billy Mitchell, Dan Loosen and Doc Mack all have fantastic resumes in the industry and they led us to even more fantastic gems of writers, designers and people to work with.
What, if any, challenges do you face with creating content on a fairly regular basis?
At this point the biggest challenge is getting the word out there. Our first issue went out to 3,000 people as a preview of what they can subscribe to in print and get free digitally. But our bills aren’t paid via free magazines so getting the magazine into the hands of people who then see the value in it enough for $30 a year is important.
Each issue is packed with insight, interviews, and more!
A poster was included with the first print issue. Is this a treat that will accompany all future issues?
Absolutely and there are more bonuses coming up with the next issue of the magazine. Stay tuned for that announcement.
Can you tease what readers can expect in future issues?
The next issue is going to swing more the direction of arcade stuff for a bit with coverage of King of Kong, Twin Galaxies and more. Plus, one of our writers wrote a fantastic technology piece on the PS1. It will be full of info that everyone will enjoy.
Let’s “switch” gears a bit. We at The Switch Effect are obviously huge fans of Nintendo’s newest console, the Nintendo Switch. What are your thoughts on the system?
I don’t own the system yet, but I own every other console they have put out so I’m looking forward to being able to purchase one as a business expense. I owned the Wii U most recently from Nintendo and liked the system a lot. It appears they have taken ideas that debuted in the Wii U and their experience in handhelds and have a great system.
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share?
Just make sure to visit our site and sign up for the free digital edition and you will get your first issue in print for free! Also, please send ideas as to what you want us to cover in the Retro area.
Thank you again Ryan for taking the time to speak with us. We look forward to issue #2 and beyond!